The future we want EN


The future we want: Diverse, united and complementary

Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf
Doctor of Educational Sciences
Member of the cmfUNteam

The future we want: Diverse, united and harmonious

We are in the middle of COVID-19. Like a big earthquake, we feel that everything trembles, wobbles, and often falls apart. Like any earthquake, the foundation of the house, cities, countries, and the lives of many are sufferings from the pandemic. Everything is happening like a speed of light; the virus that was detected in Wuhan at the end of 2019 is devastating the planet and changing the world, politically and economically. But, like any earthquake, you have to react; we must rebuild the fallen and shattered. How to do it?

In the course of the epidemic, we have found inappropriate behavior, even despicable, but there has been much more. Based on the grossest pragmatism, when thinking about reconstruction, we would have to base ourselves on those things that have worked "positively"; everything that is helpful to put hope amid the catastrophe. As with COVID-19, we never see how quickly private and public institutions have joined TOGETHER to look for a vaccine. Besides, more surprisingly, without seeking any profit and thinking only the society. Governments established economic programs for the good of the companies, workers, the unemployed, and even migrants. We can also bring here the example of total dedication, of employees in health services and other essential public services. Two words could define the fundamental attitudes, in these examples, that help us see the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are in SOLIDARITY and COOPERATION.

Antonio Gutérres, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Pope Francis, have insisted on collaboration, generosity, and the importance of putting the most vulnerable at the center of our concern. Based on these attitudes, a set of objectives and reflections appear in the meaning of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT as a program for the future. These two documents specify how to understand this meaning: "Laudato Sí" and "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals". These are two documents before COVID-19 that emphasized the experience of growing Globality that humanity has lived since the second half of the 20th century. Two documents that have been prepared through meetings, reflections, and experiences at the beginning of the 20th century that come to manifest today. They are complex documents prepared by people from different walks of life: university, NGOs, companies, government officials, diplomats, believers, and, of course, in the case of Laudato Sí, the theologians.

For all of us who form our society, the 2030 Agenda must be the guide to build "The future we want" (Rio + 20), "Leaving no one behind" (2030 Agenda). The SDG2030 Agenda is the common area in which we all have to work; globally and locally (“Glocally”). Each of the institutions, organizations, or individuals must seek to collaborate in achieving this common Agenda. The first thing is to make it clear that they are: The United Nations as a whole or each country must consider the 17 SDGs in totality; they must develop evaluative achievement plans for every one of the objectives. Individuals, companies, universities, and churches must look for what kind of contribution they can offer. In other words, what are the Sustainable Development Goals that we are going to choose to work on with more effort? To choose them properly we have to ask ourselves about the needs of the place and the people; how to make it a better place to live in, and know our capability for concrete action. If each of us carries out and exercise correction and discernment well, we will be able to choose the SDGs on which to work.

Almost immediately after choosing our Goals, we will realize that those 17 SDGs are closely related to each other. As a consequence, we will not only have to look for other groups and organizations that have chosen the same Objectives, but we must also look for groups and organizations that have chosen different objectives so that working in collaboration, we can carry out the entire Agenda. Specifically, SDG 17 speaks of this need for collaboration: "Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the World Alliance for Sustainable Development." In each place, each of the organizations has to collaborate with the rest of the groups to achieve the 2030 Agenda: governments, companies, churches, NGOs, universities. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals is the common ground for dialogue and collaboration for those of us who seek a different and better world.

The Catholic Church has wanted to make a more specific understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals. This has been done based on the encyclical Laudato Si. The recently created Dicastery for Integral Human Development has presented the “Laudato Si start-up plan - starting in 2020”. We are invited to review the SDGs 2030 and choose our own Sustainable Development Goals. To carry it out, we must take into account the SDG2030 Agenda, the 7OLS (Laudato Si Objectives), the needs of the place we are living, what are our expertise, and with whom we are going to collaborate. The collaboration of the various groups of the Catholic Church, Christian Churches, Believers in God, Universities, Companies, NGOs is essential. This must be present in every town, city, nation, continent, and all humanity.

The Claretian Missionaries have just started this process of concretion and discernment, and we always share work and dialogue with everyone. There is no doubt that it will help us to give a more adequate response to the “post-COVID-19 world”.

Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf
Doctor of Educational Sciences
Degree in Systematic Theology
Member of the cmfUNteam

A. Alcántara cmf Translator

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